Business

The Two-Way
5:49 am
Thu November 15, 2012

BP Pleads Guilty, Will Pay $4 Billion In Criminal Penalties For Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 4:32 pm

Update at 11:30 a.m. ET: Oil giant BP has agreed to plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill and will pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties, the company just confirmed. And it will pay $525 million in civil penalties in a resolution with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. BP will make the payments over six years.

Read more
Business
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:28 am

An online petition is urging Macy's to stop selling its line of Donald Trump branded clothing. The petition says the department store should sever ties with Trump because he is offensive, sexist and hypocritical. But a Macy's spokesperson insists its merchandise and marketing do not represent any political position.

Business
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

BP Expected To Plead Guilty In Gulf Spill

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:12 am

Oil giant BP is preparing to plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf spill. The deal is set to be announced in New Orleans Thursday.

Business
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:21 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with Twinkie trouble.

Hostess Brands, famous for processed treats like Twinkies and Ding Dongs, says it will go into liquidation if striking bakers do not return to work this afternoon. This could see the layoffs of nearly 18,000 workers. The bakers walked out over wage and benefit cuts. Analysts say the company's most iconic brands would likely be bought by other companies if Hostess goes out of business. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Economy
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Studies Vary On How Many Jobs Will Be Lost If Taxes On The Wealthy Ride

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:07 am

Republicans claim President Obama's plan to raise taxes on the wealthy will cost the economy 700,000 jobs. Another study from the Congressional Budget Office puts the number of lost jobs as 200,000. But both studies also assume millions of new jobs will be created.

Business
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

House Report Blames Corzine For MF Global's Demise

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 4:53 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

House Republicans have released portions of a report on the collapse of MF Global, the commodities firm run by former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine. The report chastises Corzine for taking excessive risk.

NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Should Taxpayers Pay For Rebuilding Northeast Infrastructure?

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:01 am

President Obama travels to New York Thursday to get a first hand look at the continuing recovery efforts and lingering damage from Hurricane Sandy. Damage and lost economic activity from the storm have been estimated as high as $50 billion. State officials and lawmakers from the affected region say they intend to tap the federal government for as much assistance as possible.

Business
3:06 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Thompson Takes Over New York Times Company

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 4:58 am

This week marks the start of Mark Thompson's tenure as the new chief executive officer at the New York Times Co. It is facing financial head-winds, and is hoping Thompson can recapture some of the success he enjoyed in leading the BBC. But there's concern within the Times that its new leader has been tainted by scandals at his old employer.

Planet Money
2:04 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Why Coke Cost A Nickel For 70 Years

An oilcloth sign advertising Coca-Cola from 1905.
The Coca-Cola Company

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 12:04 pm

Prices change; that's fundamental to how economies work.

And yet: In 1886, a bottle of Coke cost a nickel. It was also a nickel in 1900, 1915 and 1930. In fact, 70 years after the first Coke was sold, you could still buy a bottle for a nickel.

Three wars, the Great Depression, hundreds of competitors — none of it made any difference for the price of Coke. Why not?

Read more
Business
3:29 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

'Caesars' CEO: Higher Taxes Would Impact Business

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 12:10 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

After President Obama's news conference today, he moved on to a meeting with the CEOs of a number of big corporations to talk about avoiding the fiscal cliff. We're going to talk now with one business leader who has advised the White House in the past, although he was not at today's meeting. Gary Loveman is the CEO of Caesars Entertainment, the worldwide casino company. He's been a member of President Obama's export council, and he's also part of the Fix the Debt campaign. Welcome to the program.

Read more
Crisis In The Housing Market
2:35 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Foreclosed Homeowners Getting Back In The Market

Millions of U.S. families have a recent foreclosure on their record. Typically, that means waiting at least seven years before securing another home loan. But some families say they are having luck buying again — sometimes in as few as three years.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 4:15 pm

Buyers are coming back into the housing market after losing their homes during the financial crisis — returning to homeownership more quickly than lenders have typically allowed.

With millions of families with recent foreclosures on their records, some report that they are having luck buying a house — in some cases within three years.

Read more
Business
3:37 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 6:06 am

Michael Hervey will leave effective at the end of the year. The New York utility received harsh criticism over how it handled the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Customers have complained about long waits for service to return. Two weeks after the storm tens of thousands of homes and businesses still have no power.

Business
3:37 am
Wed November 14, 2012

'Halo 4' Has Successful First Day Of Sales

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 6:06 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Our last word in business today is: arms race.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Dramatic. Feel the heart beat. That's music from "Halo 4," the latest installment from Microsoft's blockbuster video game series which pits humans against aliens in the future. Last week, "Halo 4" made more than $220 million in the first day sales.

Read more
Business
3:37 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Down Economy Injures Local Hospitals

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 6:06 am

The health care industry is one of the most reliable sources of new jobs in the country. And in cities that suffer from high unemployment, the local hospital is often the biggest employer still standing. But the downturn in the economy has left some hospitals in perilous financial shape. In Waterbury, Ct,, the biggest hospitals are going through a painful process of outsourcing and layoffs.

Business
3:37 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Barron To Be Executive Editor At 'Washington Post'

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 6:06 am

Martin Baron of the Boston Globe has been named the new executive editor of The Washington Post. He replaces Marcus Brauchli who came to the Post in 2008 from The Wall Street Journal.

Economy
3:37 am
Wed November 14, 2012

A Preview Of Obama's News Conference

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 6:06 am

At the White House, President Obama will hold his first East Room news conference since March on Wednesday. He's expected to talk about the nation's fiscal condition, as well as the scandal that has cost him his CIA director.

Business
3:37 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Microsoft Shake Up: President Of Windows Is Out

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 4:55 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's talk now about the shakeup at the top of Microsoft. Fewer than three weeks after the unveiling of a new, extensively redesigned Windows operating system, the executive responsible for its launch is gone. NPR's Wendy Kaufman has more.

Read more
Business
3:37 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Some Nonprofits Look Suspiciously Like Forprofits

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 3:33 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The word nonprofit evokes the image of a charity or a church, an educational institution, public radio station. But David Evans of Bloomberg Markets Magazine took a closer look at the world of nonprofits and discovered something that he considered suspicious. Even though many nonprofits make millions and millions in profits, they pay no taxes.

Read more
Environment
1:18 am
Wed November 14, 2012

A 'Green' Gold Rush? Calif. Firm Turns Trash To Gas

Energy Of The Future? California company Sierra Energy is testing out a reactor that turns garbage — like these wood chips, metal fragments and plastics — into synthetic gas that can then be turned into a low-carbon diesel fuel.
Christopher Joyce NPR

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 6:17 pm

Second of a two-part series. Read Part 1

California starts the ball rolling Wednesday on a controversial scheme to keep the planet from overheating. Businesses will have to get a permit if they emit greenhouse gases.

Some permits will be auctioned today; the rest are free. The big idea here is the state is putting a ceiling on emissions.

It's a gamble. And for this top-down climate plan to work, it has to usher in a greener, more efficient economy.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:47 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Bigwigs Out At Microsoft And Apple. Now What?

Steven Sinofsky introduces a new Microsoft tablet computer and Windows 8 software to the media in Shanghai on Oct. 23. The former president of Microsoft's Windows division has since left the company.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 6:58 am

  • Hear Wendy Kaufman's Report On 'Morning Edition'

In less than a month, two instrumental figures at two of the world's biggest tech companies have left their positions. Now industry watchers wonder whether the departures at Microsoft and Apple will mean dramatic changes of direction for the tech giants.

Read more
Around the Nation
1:49 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

At Life's End, A Final Home On The (Shooting) Range

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 3:20 pm

Many people keep cremated remains in an urn on the mantle or scatter their loved one's ashes over a sacred place.

Now, a company has pioneered a new twist: putting cremated remains into ammunition.

For $850, Holy Smoke will take cremated remains and put them into various types of shotgun shells and bullets for rifle and pistol shooters. The Stockton, Ala., company was started a year ago by two state game wardens.

Read more
Your Money
10:56 am
Tue November 13, 2012

How The Alternative Minimum Tax Could Slam You

Customers line up at an H&R Block office in Nashville, Tenn., on April 17, the deadline for filing 2011 federal income taxes.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 11:29 am

Seriously, again?

Anyone who follows the adventures of the alternative minimum tax has to be getting sick of the many sequels. Again and again, this unpopular income tax threatens to hit middle-class families with large and unexpected tax increases.

And each time the threat reappears, Congress applies a "patch" to fix the problem temporarily. That makes the threat an annual event — along with the associated congressional hand-wringing and taxpayer confusion.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:40 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Motor Trend Names Tesla S Car Of The Year, First Electric Car To Receive Honor

Model S Alpha, in black, and the Telsa Roadster behind it.
James Lipman Telsa

Motor Trend named Tesla's Model S as its Car of the Year. It is the first time in the award's 64-year history the honor goes to a car without an internal combustion engine.

Read more
Your Money
9:06 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Alternative Minimum Tax And Your Bottom Line

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 11:31 am

If the government goes over the "fiscal cliff," millions of households could see tax increases because of an obscure part of the tax code, known as the alternative minimum tax. Host Michel Martin talks with NPR Business Editor Marilyn Geewax about exactly what could happen and who would be affected.

Business
3:08 am
Tue November 13, 2012

New York's Art District Devastated By Sandy

There are nearly 400 art galleries in New York's Chelsea neighborhood. Many of these galleries were flooded by the storm surge that accompanied Hurricane Sandy. One insurance company estimates it has $40 million in claims.

Business
3:02 am
Tue November 13, 2012

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 4:48 am

Men have always outnumbered women on America's roads, but that's no longer the case. According to the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute, the switchover happened in 2010.

Business
2:47 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Business News

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 4:30 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a small reprieve for Greece.

The Salt
1:46 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Danes May Bring Back Butter As Government Rolls Back Fat Tax

Toothbutter, illustrated.
Sidsel Overgaard NPR

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 1:34 pm

Toothbutter: noun. Butter spread so thickly as to reveal teeth marks upon biting.

The fact that this word exists in the Danish language should help to explain what politicians were up against when they introduced the "fat tax" just over a year ago. This is a country that loves it some butter (and meat, and all things dreadful to the arteries).

Read more
Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
1:33 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Beach Towns Mourn Sandy-Ravaged Boardwalks

Waves break Oct. 31 in front of a destroyed amusement park wrecked by Hurricane Sandy in Seaside Heights, N.J.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 11:15 am

Hurricane Sandy left a long trail of destruction across the New Jersey shoreline. And it did a lot more than just flood houses.

In towns like Seaside Heights and Belmar, Sandy wiped out the boardwalks that line the beach. In places like these, boardwalks served as the commercial center knitting the towns together, and residents are wondering where to go from here.

Until two weeks ago, the boardwalk was the place to hang out in Belmar, N.J. Ann Summer was walking along the water with her husband this weekend.

Read more
Media
4:17 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Conservative Media Caught in the Blame Game

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 5:08 am

In the wake of last Tuesday's elections, a lively debate has erupted into the open over whether conservatives and the Republican Party were well-served by their favorite media outlets.

Former Gov. Mitt Romney was reported to have been so certain of a victory on Tuesday night that he cast aside tradition and did not draft a concession speech. But conservatives now say his misplaced confidence — and theirs — were bolstered by the predictions of many like-minded pundits, which were broadcast and posted online around the clock by sympathetic news outlets.

Read more

Pages